Picture this: You are an event promoter or a business owner, and you've spent months planning the perfect event. You are confident that this is the one that will put your brand on the map. But as the day approaches, you realize that ticket sales are nowhere near what you expected. Sound familiar? If so, it's time to revamp your promotion strategy, and there's no better way to do that than with SMS marketing.
In today's digital age, SMS marketing is a game-changer for event promotion and management. With open rates as high as 98% and conversion rate as high as 45%. it's the most direct and efficient way to connect with your audience. In this guide, we will show you step-by-step how to leverage SMS marketing to increase attendee engagement and create unforgettable experiences. Buckle up and let's get started!
Step 1: Building your SMS contact list
Before you can start sending out promotional texts, you will need a contact list of potential attendees. There are several ways to build your list:
- Encourage people to subscribe via your website, social media, or in-person events.
- Offer incentives like discounts, exclusive access, or giveaways to entice people to sign up.
- Ensure compliance with local data protection laws and obtain the necessary opt-ins.
Pro tip: Use a service like BulkGate to manage your contact list, segment it based on various criteria, and stay compliant with data protection regulations.
Step 2: Crafting your SMS marketing strategy
Now that you have your contact list, it's time to create an SMS marketing strategy that suits your event. Consider these elements:
Announce your event with an exciting text that highlights key details and offers a link to the ticketing page.
- Early bird offers: Incentivize early ticket purchases with discounts or exclusive perks.
- Last-minute promotions: Send out a final reminder a few days before the event to encourage last-minute ticket sales.
- SMS notifications and reminders: Keep attendees in the loop with updates on event details, schedule changes, or helpful tips for attending.
Example: Imagine a local music festival leveraging SMS marketing to send out line-up announcements and early bird offers. This could result in a significant increase in ticket sales compared to previous years without SMS marketing.
Step 3: Personalizing your SMS campaigns
To make your SMS campaigns even more effective, consider personalizing your messages based on the preferences and interests of your target audience. Here are some tips on how to do this:
Segment your contact list
Group your contacts based on demographics, location, past event attendance, or other relevant criteria. This way, you can tailor your messages to resonate with specific groups, increasing the chances of engagement.
Use dynamic content
Incorporate elements like the recipient's name, their birthday, event preferences, or other variables into your messages to make them feel more personal and relevant. For example, you could send a targeted promotion for a specific artist or speaker that your attendee expressed interest in.
Test and optimize
Keep an eye on your campaign analytics to see which personalized messages yield the best results. Use this information to refine your strategy and send even more relevant content in the future.
Example: Consider a sports event organizer who segments their contact list based on attendees' favorite teams and sends personalized SMS promotions with exclusive offers for team merchandise. This strategy could lead to a substantial increase in both ticket sales and merchandise purchases.
Step 4: Enhancing the attendee experience with SMS
In addition to promoting your event, you can also use SMS marketing to improve the overall attendee experience. Here are some ideas on how to achieve this:
Send out helpful tips and reminders leading up to the event, such as what to wear, what to bring, parking information, or public transportation options. This not only helps attendees feel more prepared but also shows that you care about their experience.
Set up an SMS-based helpline for attendees to ask questions or report issues during the event. This allows you to address concerns quickly and efficiently, ensuring a smooth experience for everyone involved.
Gamification and contests
Use SMS to create fun, interactive experiences for attendees. You could set up a scavenger hunt, a trivia game, or a photo contest, and encourage participants to text their answers or submissions. Offer prizes or incentives to boost engagement and create a buzz around your event.
Example: Picture a tech conference organizer setting up an SMS-based trivia game related to the keynote speakers and topics. Attendees who answer correctly could be entered into a draw for a chance to win exclusive swag. This strategy might not only increase attendee engagement but also encourage them to pay closer attention to the presentations.
Step 5: Engaging attendees during the event
The big day is finally here! Use SMS marketing to boost attendee engagement and make your event truly unforgettable:
- Live updates: Keep attendees informed with real-time information, like schedule changes or special announcements.
- Polls and surveys: Gather feedback and opinions during the event to improve the experience and show that you care about their input.
- Exclusive offers: Offer discounts on merchandise or future events to reward attendees for their support.
Example: A conference organizer could use SMS polls to gather real-time feedback on keynote speakers, allowing them to make adjustments and address concerns immediately, enhancing the overall attendee experience.
Step 6: Post-event follow-up
Don't let the conversation end when your event is over. Continue engaging your audience with post-event follow-ups:
- Thank you messages: Show your appreciation with a heartfelt thank you text.
- Event recap: Share highlights, photos, or videos to keep the positive memories alive.
- Feedback requests: Ask for feedback to identify areas for improvement and make your next event even better.
Example: Envision a charity fun run sending out thank you texts after the event, along with a link to a photo gallery and a request for feedback. This approach could keep participants engaged and help organizers make improvements for future events.
Step 7: Incorporating Viber Business Messages
To reach an even wider audience, consider integrating Viber Business Messages into your SMS campaigns. Viber boasts over 1 billion users, giving you access to a massive potential attendee pool. With Viber Business Messages, you can send rich content like images, videos, and links, creating an immersive experience for your audience, but it also has other benefits.
Example: A popular food festival might use Viber Business Messages to send out enticing images of the dishes available, potentially driving up ticket sales.
Step 8: Analyzing the results and optimizing for success
To ensure your SMS marketing efforts are paying off, track your campaign performance using analytics provided by platforms like BulkGate SMS gateway. Monitor key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to identify what works and what doesn't. Use this data to optimize your future campaigns and maximize your event promotion success.
Example: An art exhibition promoter could analyze their SMS campaign data and discover that texts sent on specific days of the week have the highest engagement. By adjusting their strategy accordingly, they might see a significant increase in ticket sales.
Step 9: Integrating SMS marketing with your other marketing channels
To make your event promotion even more powerful, consider integrating SMS marketing with your other marketing channels besides chat apps. This will create a seamless, cohesive marketing strategy that reaches your audience through various touchpoints. Here's how you can do this:
Email marketing: Complement your email campaigns with SMS reminders, and vice versa. For example, send an email announcing your event, and follow up with a text message reminder closer to the event date. This ensures that your message reaches your audience through multiple channels, increasing the chances of engagement.
Social media: Use your social media platforms to drive sign-ups for your SMS contact list. You can offer exclusive content, promotions, or giveaways to entice your followers to subscribe to your text messages. In turn, use SMS to encourage attendees to engage with your brand on social media during the event by sharing photos, using event-specific hashtags, or participating in online conversations.
Offline marketing: Incorporate SMS marketing into your print materials, such as posters, flyers, or event programs. Include a short code or QR code that allows potential attendees to subscribe to your SMS list or access event information directly from their phones.
Retargeting campaigns: If you're running retargeting campaigns for your event through platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, use SMS marketing to complement these efforts. For example, if someone clicks on your ad but doesn't complete the ticket purchase, you can send a follow-up SMS with a limited-time offer or discount to encourage them to complete their purchase.
Example: A theater company might integrate their SMS marketing with their social media and email campaigns, resulting in a substantial increase in ticket sales and overall audience engagement through a multi-channel approach.
By integrating SMS marketing with your other marketing channels, you'll be able to create a well-rounded, powerful promotional strategy that maximizes your event's success as SMS marketing has many advantages.
SMS marketing is an invaluable tool for business owners, event promoters, and event managers looking to level up their event promotion and management game. By following the steps outlined in this guide and using platforms like BulkGate, you'll be well on your way to creating engaging, memorable events that leave your attendees wanting more.
So, what are you waiting for? It's time to put these strategies to the test and make your next event a smashing success. Sign up for BulkGate today and start implementing these powerful SMS marketing techniques to transform your event promotion and management game!